The Pirates stayed red-hot on Tuesday, taking down the Indians 9-4 to earn their 11th consecutive victory. Joe Musgrove got the start, limiting the Tribe to two runs over seven innings. Steven Bault and Edgar Santana each gave up a run in an inning of relief after Musgrove exited, but it didn’t prove to be an impediment.
On the offensive side of things, Starling Marte opened up the scoring in the first with a two-run homer. The Pirates tacked on five more runs in the second inning thanks to a two-run triple by Corey Dickerson, an RBI single from Marte, and a two-run homer from Gregory Polanco. Josh Bell added a two-run homer in the fifth to run the Pirates’ run total to nine.
It wasn’t all good news for the Buccos, however, as Dickerson had to exit the game before the bottom of the fourth with left hamstring discomfort. He apparently aggravated something running to first base on a ground out to start the top half of the fourth. Dickerson has been among the Pirates’ best players this season, batting .318/.351/.517 with 11 home runs, 44 RBI, and 50 runs scored in 367 plate appearances. Dickerson will undergo more testing and more should be known about his condition on Wednesday.
The Pirates have one more game against the Indians before heading home for a nine-game homestand with the Mets, Cubs, and Cardinals. They’re very much in the thick of things despite being in third place, as they currently trail the Cubs by 6.5 games, and they’re 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League.
Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.
Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.
During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).
2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.
Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.